Sunday 16 December 2018

Betting firm William Hill has swung to a half-year pre-tax loss of £819.6m

William Hill
William Hill Business Desk

Betting firm William Hill has swung to a half-year pre-tax loss of £819.6m from a profit of £93.1m a year earlier.

That was against a 3pc rise in group net revenue to £802.6m over the half year to June 26.

Its results were knocked by an £882.8m impairment charge on its retail operations, linked to the UK Government's decision to reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2.

"Regulatory change of this nature is unprecedented and its impact on customer behaviour will not be known until some years after implementation but we currently estimate this could reduce the retail division's annualised adjusted operating profit following mitigation measures by c£70-£100 million," the company said.

Chief executive Philip Bowcock said: "William Hill has performed well during the first half of 2018 and, following major regulatory decisions in the UK and US, we now have greater clarity over the challenges and opportunities that lie before us.

"During the first half, our online business continued to deliver double-digit growth.

"In retail, we are beginning to put in place plans to mitigate the impact of the triennial review.

"In the US, we have moved quickly following the repeal of PASPA as we grow into newly-regulating states. We will continue to invest in the US to ensure we are well-placed to capture the substantial potential available to us."

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